Who says science can’t be fun?
More than 1,000 people attended the Community Science Celebration this weekend at the Alberni Athletic Hall and North Island College.
The event was brought to Port Alberni by a partnership of North Island College, the Mid Island Science Council and Science World.
“This week has been a phenomenal success,” said North Island College spokesperson Susan Auchterlonie.
“It’s surpassed all of our expectations.”
The event featured over 20 science exhibits at the Athletic Hall and Port Alberni North Island College campus, which utilized its science labs and nursing program for science demonstrations.
The exhibitors were from Science World, but also from the Bamfield Marine Centre, Vancouver Paleontological Society as well as the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre.
“The theme of the week was to show that science can be discovered all around you,” Science World spokesperson Jo-Ann Coggan said.
Science World volunteers visited Valley throughout the week to mentor budding science students and perform fun science demonstrations.
The initiative addresses a gap that exists between kids and science today. “Both teachers and kids struggle with science as a subject in high school,” Coggan said. “The schools lack the equipment needed to teach science in a fun away so they get bored.”
Kids are also sensitized to what jobs there are waiting for science graduates. “The labs at the college and the local exhibitors show that science can be fun, cool and interesting.”
The program has been running for six years and has come full circle in at least one respect. “One of our volunteers in Cranbrook was a student at one of our first events,” Coggan said. “Now he is a science teacher.”
It’s the first time the event has been brought to Port Alberni and Auchterlonie hopes it will return next year, she said.
The event is showcased 10 times per year and usually makes stops in B.C.’s interior, where the theme revolved around forestry and mining.
“Port Alberni has forestry, fishing, and an active marine science culture,” Coggan said.
“Kids don’t have to come to a big city to find science at Science World – it’s right here in their back yard.” firstname.lastname@example.org